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Suspect on the run after father, daughter killed in Hartford City shooting

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HARTFORD CITY (Feb. 5, 2015) - Police in Hartford City and Blackford County continue to investigate a double murder that left a father and his teenage daughter dead.

Officers responded to Hartford Square Apartments in the 200 block of East Chestnut Street on a report of a possible shooting around 9:15 a.m. Officers arrived and found a man in the parking lot with an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

Officers then located a woman inside an apartment, also with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

Indiana State Police said one suspect is sought in the incident. Officers are looking for an older man with a grey ponytail and goatee.

Police have not said why this happened or how the shooter knew the victims.

”I don’t believe that there’s any concern for the citizens,” Hartford City Police Chief Scott Mealy said.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact the Blackford County sheriff's office at 765-348-0930.

Schools in Blackford County and neighboring Jay County went on lockdown as a precautionary measure. The shooting did not happen at one of the schools, dispatchers said.

One unnamed neighbor, who lives across the hall, said she heard what happened.

”We heard stuff out in the hallway, like a ruckus, kind of like stuff being thrown around,” she said. “We started getting calls on our phone, the schools were getting locked down, next thing you know we heard scanners out in the hallway.”

The schools included in the lockdown were:

  • Blackford High School
  • Hartford City Middle School
  • Northside School
  • Southside Elementary School
  • Jay County High School
  • East Jay Middle School

Here's the alert from Blackford County school's website:

10:21 a.m.: BCS remains in an emergency lock down situation. Parents will not be able to pick-up students until the situation is clear.

Parents we have been notified by law enforcement of a situation that has occurred in Hartford City that will require an immediate lockdown. If your child has already been picked up on a school bus he or she will be delivered to school. If your child has not been picked up or you were planning to transport your child, please keep them home and stand by for further information.

We will notify you as soon as we receive additional information from law enforcement.

Schools that were on lockdown Thursday will be back in session Friday.

“The investigation took us a different way, led us away from any involvement with the school,” Mealy said of student safety concerns.

The last murder in this small town of 6,000 people was in 1991.